The Waugh stable looks to have another smart two-year-old on their hands with Celer ($4) scoring a convincing win over his older rivals in the THE DOYLO MAIDEN (1000m).
The Excelebration gelding showed an impressive turn of foot to win by almost two lengths.
A large group of happy owners greeted winning jockey Blake Shinn when he returned to scale.
Waugh said they had been reasonably confident heading into the race.
“We were hopeful but the horse of Godolphin’s goes very well and we thought that was a big danger but ours is a really nice horse,” she said.
“He was supposed to go to Scone for the Inglis 2YO race but got a temperature on the Wednesday.
“This is a nice consolation and I’m not complaining. It was a very nice win.”
Waugh said Celer would probably head to the city.
“We will see how he pulls up and he’ll most likely go to town.”
The victory brought up a double for Shinn, who scored earlier on Rakhish.
Shinn said Celer had showed a good turn of foot.
“Beating older horses is a really good effort and he did it well today,” he said.
“He came home very strongly in a pretty good time and that’s positive.”
The victory continued a great run for the Waugh stable, ] recording seven wins in just under a month.
Celer, a $60,000 yearling purchase, beat Mandalong Nicko ($3.40), with Silla Sally ($11), a length and a half behind in third.
Home Ground looks set for a tilt at the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins at Doomben, after bringing up back to back victories with a strong Wyong win.
The High Chapparal gelding had the wood on his older rivals in the CLUB TOUKLEY CLASS 1 over the 1600m, finishing strongly to win by a half head.
Trained by John Sargent, the $420,000 yearling purchase was coming off a good win at Muswellbrook on May 4.
Stable representative Campbell Ashby said he believed the gelding had earned a trip north.
“A two-year-old to come and win a Class 1 off the back of a Muswellbrook maiden and being first off the bit. That’s a good effort,” he said.
“He’s still learning his trade but he’s going to be a nice horse next year this one.
“The plan was to settle him midfield. Being a two-year-old there’s no point having him handy and with his style of racing he certainly wasn’t going to do that.
“It was good to see him knuckle down and get the job done.”
Ashby said he believed Home Ground wouldn’t be out of his depth in the 1600m Doomben race.
“For a horse that’s going to get a mile and beyond it could be ideal and if it comes up soft that would be a bonus.
“I know the owner will be keen to have a crack so that is most likely where he will head.”
Home Ground, ridden by Travis Wolfgram, beat Bjorn Baker’s $2.45 race favourite African Rainbow, with Mr Mile ($71) trained by Stephen Schofield, almost a length behind in third.
A fitting swan song for the Marc Connors trained Tennessee Hussey who brought up her fifth career win at her last start before retirement taking out the 1350m WYONG GOLF CLUB BENCHMARK 68..
The six-year-old Husson mare was purchased for $18,000 by Marc Connors at a Patinack dispersal sale in 2013.
She went on to accumulate an impressive record of five wins, 12 seconds and 10 thirds from 52 starts.
Connors said it was a great way for her to end her racing career.
“She’s been a stable stalwart for years. I brought her as a yearling and she’s going back next week to the broodmare sales,” he said.
“Horses like her don’t come around often. Fifty two starts and she’s won $250,000 they are the horses you want in your stable.”
Winning rider Brenton Avdulla had settled Tenessee Hussey midfield and on straightening she stormed down the outside to snatch a three quarters of a length victory.
Starting $2.90 favourite she beat the Joe Pride trained Choice Harvest ($5), with the Perry trained Red Braids ($31) a long neck behind in third.
A race to race double for Avdulla after the Grant Allard trained Americana Magic ($12) took out the 1200m ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB Class 1.
The three-year-old by American was resuming after being gelded and the stable were confident he would perform strongly first up.
“I took the same tack as last preparation,” an excited Allard said.
“He had not trial only a jumpout but he’s been working really well on the track.
“I told Brenton he was flying and he’s come out and proved that today.”
American pulled away from his rivals in the straight to win by more than two lengths.
Allard said he thinks there is plenty of improvement in the gelding.
“I’ll find a nice class two for him somewhere and we will take him along slowly.
“I think in 12 months time you will see a really nice horse. I’ve got a good opinion of him.”
Americana beat Spring Creek Star ($6.50) trained by Jarrod Austin, with the Waterhouse/Bott trained Gracefilly ($8), a close third.
A work in progress is how leading jockey Tim Clark described $2.20 race
favourite Whitely after his win in the 2YO Maiden Plate.
The Sebring colt, who was narrowly beaten at Warwick Farm last start, had to come from behind to score a neck win on the line over the 1300m.
“He’s done a very good job to overcome a slow start, “ Clarke said.
“He really had to dig deep to win and he’s still got plenty of learn.”
The victory brought up a double for the Waterhouse/Bott stable.
Whitely is raced by an all-female syndicate that includes Kate Waterhouse.
The stable had expected Whitely to race on the speed but a slow start put paid to that and Clarke had to come from worse than midfield.
He made up significant ground in the straight to run down Grand Challenge ($9.50) on the line.
Ronnie Nunn, representing the stable, said Whitely had been much further back then they had wanted courtesy of the slow start.
“It all went upside down at the start but he proved good enough to run home over the top of them,” he said.
“When they are still doing things wrong and winning it’s a bonus.”
Nunn said they still had a bit of work to do on Whitely’s manners.
“He’s a bit of a colt, bit of a lad. So we have to sort all that out but he’s got plenty of improvement and good to get that win under his belt.”
Godolphin runner Pohutukawa ($10 )was three lengths behind in third.
The Gary Portelli trained Strome continued her great form this preparation notching up her third win with a dominant victory in the 1600m NORAH HEAD SPORTIES PROVINCIAL CLASS 4.
The win will see the Smart Missille filly venture to a mid-week Metropolitan meeting, with Portelli convinced she can continue to improve.
“I thought today was a bit test for her over the mile with the big weight and a three-year-old filly against the older horses,” Portelli said.
“We were rapt with the way she did it. She’s just become very textbook.”
He said the filly always settled well in her races.
“She’s never in a rush but she responds well when you ask her and that’s a good trait.
“It all went to plan today.”
Winning rider Josh Parr said the filly had relaxed well and he was able to get her into a nice rythmn.
“You make me look good,” he joked to Portelli.
“I was the winner a long way from home.”
The filly has now notched up an impressive record of four wins, four seconds and a third from 14 starts.
Starting at $3, Strome put almost three lengths on her nearest rival, the Lees trained $2.80 favouite I Am Awesome.
Sleepwalker ($3.80) from the Waugh stable was a close third.
Classy Savabeel gelding Rakhish ($2fav) will likely head to a mid-week metro meeting following his tough win in the 1350m TOUKLEY GOLF CLUB 3YO MAIDEN.
The $150,000 yearling purchase dug deep in the straight, fighting off Tsunami Alert ($19) to score a narrow victory.
He had to survive a protest from the Theresa Bateman trained runner up, after the pair bumped in the final stages of the race.
Jockey Blake Shinn took Rakhish to and early lead and despite looking under pressure on the turn, was able to secure victory.
He recorded his first win at only his second race start, coming off two trials.
Ronnie Nunn, representing the Waterhouse/Bott stable, said it was a very good win.
“He’s going to get over a bit of ground, so what he is doing now is just a bonus.
“He’s bred to get over a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half, so to get a win over this distance is a really good result.
“I was a bit worried in the straight but he toughed it out, which is great.”
Nunn said he expected the stable would step Rakhish up to a mile and likely in the metropolitan arena.
The Allan Kehoe trained Fudgwedge ($4.50) was a length behind in third.
Grey Eminence outstayed his rivals in the WYONG RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB GROUP MAIDEN (2100m) to score a dominant two and a half length victory.
Trained by David Payne and ridden by Tye Angland, the three-year-old was the subject of significant support, opening at around $15 and starting at $4.60.
Angland settled the gelding toward the rear of the field, moving up on the turn and drawing away in the straight.
Payne’s stable representative Mark Whiteman said Grey Eminence had relished the step up to the 2100m.
“He’s always wanted a trip and going from an apprentice to a stronger rider today, nothing against Rachel (Hunt), she’s done a good job but Tye just had him travelling a bit better today and he’s proved too strong,” Whiteman said.
“He just relishes the ground so the further the better for him. He still a bit weak at this stage with a fair bit of development ahead of him. He’s only young and I think he will carry on with it.”
Angland was also pleased with the win.
“Everything worked out well today. I had a good run in behind them and I was able to ride him through the flat spot.
“He responded well when I asked him and it was a nice win.”
Grey Eminence, having his fourth career start, beat Whitney’s Star ($7) trained by Wayne Austin, with the $2.20 race favourite I Arize, three quarters of a length behind in third.